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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

ON THE  CHANGE  OF  REFRANGIBILITY  OF  LIGHT.
349
They exhibited however four of those singular absorption bands so characteristic of salts of peroxide of uranium. Of these the third fell a little short of G> its more refrangible edge nearly coinciding with that fixed line; the first and second were situated between F and G, the distance of the first beyond F being somewhat greater than the interval between two consecutive bands. The fourth, which was situated beyond Gr, was fainter than the others. The second and third were the most conspicuous of the set.
158. The absorption bands due to peroxide of uranium afford an easy mode of detecting that substance in solution. For this purpose the solutions mentioned in the preceding paragraph are much preferable to the nitrate, for they produce much stronger bands when only a small quantity of uranium is present. The absorption bands of nitrate of uranium are visible, as might have been expected, in presence of a large quantity of nitrate of copper*.
Optical Tests of Uranium in Blow-pipe Experiments.
159. When a bead of microcosmic salt is fused with oxide of uranium, and brought to its highest state of oxidation, it is yellow by transmitted light. Such a bead is sensitive in a very high degree, quite as much so as canary glass. When the light falls sideways on it, and it is held against black cloth or a dark object, it exhibits plainly the green colour due to internal dispersion. When properly examined by means of sunlight its sensibility is evident at once, and when the dispersed light is viewed through a prism it is resolved into bright bands. One of the most convenient modes of examining such minute objects consists in reflecting the sun's light horizontally through a large lens, intercepting by moans of absorbing media all the rays except those of very high refnwibility, placing the object to be examined in the condensed beam, and viewing it through a prism. So delicate is this test when applied to uranium, that on one occasion, when engaged in examining a bead coloured green by chromium, which had been fused in the exterior flame, I observed the appearance given by uranium. This turned out to be actually due to uranium, of
* See note D.